The May 28 wedding of Margaret Wisniewski and Ed Brown was “100 times better” than the small wedding they originally planned three weeks before, the bride and groom said.
Once the couple announced they would be married, everyone at Timbers of Shorewood, where they both lived, got caught up in the arrangements — even Timbers’ executive director David Pokorny, who was newly ordained and officiated at the nonsectarian ceremony.
It was a first for Timbers, a retirement community. The ceremony came off beautifully, down to the last detail, guided by Faith Varga, the community’s marketing director, and Sharon Wuethrich, the leasing coordinator.
Margaret, lovely in her beaded floor-length gown, walked beneath a heart-shaped arch on the arm of her son, John Wisniewski, who gave her away. Her maid of honor was her friend, Joyce Gerard.
Ed’s son, Ross, served as best man.
Ed and Margaret exchanged wedding rings and lit a unity candle, which has a prominent place on the countertop of their tastefully decorated apartment.
The guest list was mor than 100. Invitations created by Jodi Zableckis, administrative assistant, included Timbers residents and Ed’s family — Betty Berest, Ross’ wife, Karen with their adopted children, Marlin and Mya, and Ed’s daughter, Stephanie Teplitz, and Margaret’s son, John, his wife and son, and Margaret’s sister, Mary Jane, and her husband, Bob Meyer.
Timbers residents Kay Abell and Jean Thuringer recited readings and poems for the occasion.
Ed and Margaret’s caregiver, Sherry, helped them to obtain the wedding dress, tuxedo, rings, the limousine that took them to the Wingate for their honeymoon and the photographers. Ebony Warren helped Margaret with her makeup, and Mark Houston assisted Ed, who uses a wheelchair.
It was up to the Timbers’ maintenance department to transform the ballroom into a fashionable wedding setting, under the direction of John Kraske. Also keeping on eye on the details were Angela Torres, housekeeping manager; Judy Malin, activities director; Pam Stortz, restaurant manager; and Diane Pfoser.
“This was not a wine-and-hors d’oeuvre reception,” Ed beamed. Stortz served beef, oven-baked chicken, mostaccioli, baby carrots and mixed vegetables, red roasted potatoes with onions and peppers and rolls. She was assisted by Dayna Deignan’s staff and Claudine Warren’s family.
The triple-tiered wedding cake was adorned with pink roses.
Flash bulbs popped as four photographers, including Jodi Zableckis and Timbers’ own Jamie Morales, preserved the memories for posterity.
Gary Onate sang the romantic songs of Frank Sinatra. The bouquet was caught by a lucky Helen Benac.
Not to be outdone, Tux in Joliet donated Ed’s tuxedo; Tezak Florist in Joliet, the flowers; White Carriage Bridal in Shorewood, the wedding gown; Allusion Photography and Design in Shorewood, the photos; Spencer’s Jewelry in Shorewood, the jewelry; and Wingate by Wyndham, the bridal suite.
The wedding speaks for itself, Ed and Margaret agreed. They’ll “never get over it.”
Now they’re settled into married life at Timbers and their delightful sense of humor has carried them through thick and thin.
Today, Margaret volunteers, ordering items for the Timbers’ General Store, which she previously had managed for 18 months. Ed has substituted for the Nintendo Wii bowling.
Ed and Margaret, both who had been widowed, met when she as a certified nursing assistant and was caring for his parents. Then a stroke disabled Ed and he moved to Timbers. Hip surgery brought Margaret to the retirement community.
At 81, Ed is content to have left the law practice he had for 40 years with Schenk, Dimas and Brown. He also was a veteran of the Korean War.
Today he devotes his attention to his new bride, who is 59, and to Margaret’s and his blended family — their grandchildren, including the new baby, born just days ago to Margaret’s son and his wife.
By Betty Wirth
Joliet Herald News – June 21, 2009